The dusty fusses of the staff room are lit by subtle observation but these witty professional interludes are burdened by the personal problems of David Flint, teacher of Scripture in a Bilateral school, so that what might have been a novel of entertaining insight is negated by unappealing details. Flint is also a novelist, has deserted his wife, is having an affair with Helen, whose wealth cushions him nicely while her domination is galling. He is forced to take sides in the school's turmoils of advancements, family pressures against Communist indoctrination and the conflict between the headmaster, a saintly man, and his raffish brother, illegal blackmarketer. Flint's ""dark night of the soul"" comes to a climax as Helen discards him and he makes up his mind to return to his wife. The atmosphere of an English school and the educational as well as the staff problems involved are ably presented but the self pity, snobbery and weakness of David reduce the sharpness of the whole.